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“It was different conditions this year with the wind, and I was a minute faster than last year. I did 475 watts average over nine minutes so that’s pretty good, and I am really satisfied with that," Jungels says

Photo: Sirotti

BOB JUNGELS

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CRITÉRIUM INTERNATIONAL

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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29.03.2014 @ 20:14 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Bob Jungels (Trek) confirmed his potential in the time trials when he finished 3rd in today's Criterium International race against the clock. Averaging 475 watts, the Luxembourger was one minute faster than he had been one year ago and is now hopeful that he can defend himself in tomorrow's summit finish.

 

For the fifth year Critérium International was held on the Island of Corsica, and this year’s edition began with a short, undulating 89-kilometer stage, followed by an afternoon seven-kilometer time trial.

 

The morning stage ended in a bunch sprint, which was won by Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr), who claimed the first leader’s jersey of the race. His overall lead was short-lived as a few hours later the riders were back racing the seven-kilometer individual time trial, which proved to be the first shakeout of the general classification.

 

The time trial course used the same finish in Port-Vecchio as the morning’s stage, as the course began with a twisty climb, descended, and then leveled out until the final one-kilometer gradual incline to the end.

 

Bob Jungels was the fifth last to start, and when he crossed the finish his time of 9:17 was third fastest, behind Giant Shimano’s Tom Dumoulin (9:07) and Garmin Sharp’s Rohan Dennis (9:10). None of the last four starters were able to knock the top three down, and Dumoulin, Dennis and Jungels also claimed the top three places in the overall.

 

“For sure I am happy. I felt good this morning in the stage and I knew last year I was good here too - I did 7th,” exclaimed Jungels after the time trial. “It was different conditions this year with the wind, and I was a minute faster than last year. I did 475 watts average over nine minutes so that’s pretty good, and I am really satisfied with that. With Fränk [Schleck] tomorrow we have a good contender for tomorrow, so let’s hope for another good result tomorrow.”

 

With the looming mountaintop finish in tomorrow’s third and final stage, the time trial was more about limiting losses amongst the GC contenders intent on the overall classification. Fränk Schleck finished in 25th place and also rests 25th in GC (+30”), but it will be tomorrow’s stage that will be the crucial test for the overall. Jungels is also riding with superb form and the Trek Factory Team is looking towards both riders for tomorrow’s significant stage.

 

“This race is also a goal for me, but for the GC it will be hard with the climb tomorrow, and already I have a podium, my second podium for the season so I am already content with this,” continued Jungels. “On the last stage of Paris-Nice we saw Fränk was really good so it will be a good day for him.”

 

In the morning’s first stage a four-man escape group formed after 25 kilometers, but was never given a big lead; a few kilometers after the sole mountain sprint climb at the mid-way point, the peloton was back to one large bunch.

 

The next solo attack in the last 10 kilometers also did little to disrupt the inevitable mass sprint, and the escapee was caught back with two kilometers to go. In the sprint Nacer Bouhini (FDJ.fr) was first across the line, as Trek Factory Racing’s Eugenio Alafaci finished in ninth. 

 

Bob Jungels was active in the first stage and gained two seconds in time bonuses by contesting the intermediate sprints.

 

“Two seconds are two seconds: If you have them its better than not having them,” explained Jungels. “But I tried this morning in the intermediate sprints to get the time in order to start later in the TT and have more recovery after the stage. That worked out. I am not sure it will make a difference tomorrow with the long climb, we will see.”

 

Tomorrow will be the decisive day as Critérium International concludes with the summit finish on the 14-kilometer long Col de l'Ospedale.

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